Summary: This is the third in a series of messages for the "Just walk across the Room" emphasis. These messages are adapted from the book by Bill Hybels.
Just Walk Across the Room
The Fruitful Steps - #3
> We’re headed for a brain-bender right out of the blocks. Ready?
Here’s how it will work. I will say a word or phrase, and then you just tell the person sitting next to you what comes to mind. Here is a little word association for you. Your response can be anything, remember anything that comes to mind. But the key is to go fast. You can’t give this a lot of thought. The idea is to capture your gut-instinct immediately after you hear what comes out of my mouth. Deal? All right, here’s the first word;
Mona, Super Bowl
President Born-again Christian
> Born-again Christian! Okay, let’s stop there for a moment. What word came to your mind? Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could electronically tabulate all the words that floated throughout the room after born-again Christian flashed across the screen? But let’s take it a step further. What do you think would happen if we showed the same screen to a hundred people who are living far from God? What would their impressions have been? I suggest, we might get quite an earful. George Barna told us a dozen years ago that in America, the general population has 2 impressions about "Christians; one, they attend church, and two, they are judgmental.
> Let’s zero in from America and consider this question; "what would the people who are far from God and live in Hueytown, Alabama, have to say about those who claim to be Christian?" Might they say, "I went to school with one once & he was pretty isolated, kept to himself all the time." Or I don’t know any of them very well. They hang with their own type certainly don’t rub shoulders with people like me. Or how about "I know a born-again Christian & what a turnoff she is! I feel judged if I even inhale wrong. She’s so self-righteous, haughty & just absolutely egotistical."
> Now, please understand, I certainly hope this is not the case, but I’m afraid it is. My desire is for us, this church, this group of "born-again believers" to change the tide of public opinion about "Christians."
> Guess why. Because the only way people will ever see their need for God is for them to witness God in us and open their hearts to Jesus and His wonderful good news. You see, God’s heart beats for pointing people to faith. His plan is to use you and me as his vehicle for getting that done!
> Know what I ‘wished’ they would say? The one’s I know are filled with integrity, they shoot with a straight arrow, they are filled with compassion, they care for the poor, care for each other, love people, & love each other.
> I don’t know if that is appealing to you, but it is my prayer for the every member and guest of the HBC family. If there is to be a change in this world, it will have an eternal dimension to it and the only eternal dimension is found in Jesus. The Bible says, “There is salvation in no other name.”
> There is one other thing which I wish the Hueytown folks would say and that is, “these folks love people so much that they’ll walk across a room, a road, or a riot to show someone the love of God.”
> We have been using the phrase of “just walk across the room” as a symbol of our call from God to speak to and touch people wherever we are. This trek has been broken into four “steps.” We began this journey with the First Steps, that is, the steps of the Savior, the Sinner, and the Sovereign. Last week we discovered the Faithful Steps which means we Develop New Friendship, Discover their Stories, and Discern our next step. And always we are called to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If we take a walk across a room to touch someone, let’s consider how we can be Fruitful.
> Today, let’s talk about the “Fruitful Steps.” First of all, allow me to correct a misconception. Some will say, “Bro. Jerry, God only expects us to be faithful.” My response to this statement is, “really?” Can you tell me exactly where in the Bible it says this? No doubt we are called to be, exhorted to be, and even expected to be faithful, but John 15 clearly says that “if we remain in HIM, we will bear much fruit.” So rethink this truth and understand that it is the will of our Lord that we be fruitful and thus, take fruitful steps.
> I offer 2 actions which are required to take the “fruitful steps” of walking across the room and we’ll use 2 Bible stories to demonstrate.